Bearded Iris Iris 'Edith Wolford' (TB)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
iris 'Edith Wolford'


Iris 'Edith Wolford' is a captivating bearded iris known for its striking flowers. This iris displays large blooms that are distinctly two-toned. The upper petals, known as standards, exhibit a beautiful light yellow hue, while the lower petals, called falls, are a contrasting deep lavender-blue. Each fall has a small area near its base called the beard, which is fuzzy and carries a bright orange-gold color that adds an additional touch of brilliance to the flower. The bloom's overall effect is dramatic and eye-catching. Beyond the blooms, the Iris 'Edith Wolford' has upright, sword-shaped leaves that are a vibrant green, giving the plant a lush and full appearance. These leaves grow in dense clumps, creating a striking backdrop for the magnificent flowers. This plant is often admired for its ornate blooms, which make it a popular choice for gardeners looking to add a splash of color to their landscape. The contrast of colors, along with the elegant form of the flowers, gives this iris variety a regal presence in any setting where it’s grown.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Bearded Iris, Tall Bearded Iris

    • Common names

      Iris 'Edith Wolford' (TB)

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Tall Bearded Iris, specifically the 'Edith Wolford' variety, is not considered highly toxic but can cause mild to moderate gastrointestinal distress if ingested. Symptoms of iris poisoning may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Handling the plant can sometimes lead to skin irritation or allergic reactions due to the presence of irritant compounds. Ingestion of large quantities should be avoided and medical attention sought if any severe symptoms occur.

    • To pets

      The Tall Bearded Iris, including the 'Edith Wolford' variety, can be toxic to pets if ingested, particularly the rhizomes, which contain the highest concentration of irritating compounds. Symptoms of iris poisoning in pets may include salivation, vomiting, drooling, lethargy, and diarrhea. If a pet ingests part of an iris, it is advisable to seek veterinary care, especially if symptoms are severe or persist.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3 feet [91 cm]

    • Spread

      1.5 feet [45 cm]

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Colorful Blooms: Iris 'Edith Wolford' produces beautiful bi-color flowers with contrasting shades, adding visual interest to gardens.
    • Low Maintenance: It is relatively easy to care for, requiring minimal upkeep once established.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, Irises are typically drought-tolerant, making them suitable for low-water gardens.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The flowers can attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, which are beneficial for pollination.
    • Long-Lived Perennial: Iris 'Edith Wolford' is a long-lived plant that can grace a garden with its presence for many years.
    • Seasonal Interest: They bloom in late spring to early summer, providing seasonal interest in the garden when many other plants may not be flowering.
    • Erosion Control: The robust root system of Iris 'Edith Wolford' can help to prevent soil erosion in the garden landscape.
    • Versatility: Suitable for a variety of garden settings, including borders, water features, and as accent plants.
    • Cold Hardy: This variety of iris is tolerant to cold temperatures and can survive through freezing conditions.
    • Suitable for Cut Flowers: The blooms are well-suited for use in floral arrangements and can add elegance to any bouquet.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Iris 'Edith Wolford' petals can be used to create natural dyes for fabrics, offering a palette of colors based on the pH of the dye bath.
    • The tall, sturdy stems of the iris can be used in basket weaving or as natural supports for other plants in the garden.
    • During blooming season, these irises can be planted en masse to create a living fence with their dense foliage and flowers.
    • The blooms can serve as a source of inspiration for artists and photographers, making them excellent subjects for creative projects.
    • After flowering, the seed pods of Iris 'Edith Wolford' can be dried and utilized in decorative arrangements or crafts.
    • The plant can be cultivated as a way to attract and sustain pollinators like bees and butterflies in a garden setting.
    • Used in educational settings, the iris can help teach botany and horticulture, showcasing plant growth and reproduction cycles.
    • Culinary enthusiasts might use the flowers of the iris to infuse sugars or syrups with a subtle floral essence.
    • When carefully managed, the iris can also be grown as part of a rooftop garden, contributing to urban green spaces.
    • The distinctive bloom shapes can be used in the study and practice of floral photography techniques and composition.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Iris is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Iris is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Hope: The iris in general symbolizes hope, conveying a sense of anticipation and belief in good things to come.
    • Trust: The iris is often associated with trust, representing the idea that one can have faith in others or in the journey of life.
    • Wisdom: Historically, the iris has been linked to wisdom, inspired by the Greek goddess Iris who was a messenger of the gods and a symbol of communication and messages.
    • Purity: With its delicate and pristine appearance, Iris 'Edith Wolford' is sometimes used to symbolize purity in various cultural contexts.
    • Courage: The iris may represent courage, acknowledging the plant's bold colors and the bravery it takes to hope and trust.

Every 7 to 10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3 to 5 years
Late Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Tall Bearded Iris 'Edith Wolford' requires moderate watering to establish a deep and extensive root system. When it's actively growing in the spring and throughout the blooming season, ensure it receives approximately one inch of water per week, either from rainfall or supplemental watering. If the weather is particularly hot or dry, you might need to water twice a week. It's crucial to avoid overwatering as this can lead to root rot; allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. During dormancy in the fall and winter, reduce watering significantly, providing just enough moisture to prevent the soil from becoming completely dry.

  • sunLight

    The Tall Bearded Iris 'Edith Wolford' thrives best in full sun conditions. To ensure vibrant blooms and healthy growth, plant it in a spot that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Avoid heavily shaded areas as insufficient light can lead to poor flowering and weak growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Bearded Irises, including 'Edith Wolford', are hardy plants that can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. They prefer temperatures between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal growth. Although they can survive winter temperatures as low as -10 to -20 degrees Fahrenheit, they should be mulched to protect against extreme cold. During the summer, they can withstand temperatures up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but they may require additional watering during these hotter periods.

  • scissorsPruning

    To maintain the health and appearance of your Tall Bearded Iris 'Edith Wolford', it's important to prune the plant annually. After blooming, remove faded flowers to prevent the plant from expending energy on seed production. In late summer or fall, trim foliage to a height of about 4 to 6 inches to prepare for winter and encourage robust growth the following season. Also, remove any damaged or diseased leaves whenever you spot them to prevent the spread of any issues.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for Tall Bearded Iris 'Edith Wolford' is well-draining, fertile, and neutral to slightly acidic with a pH of 6.8 to 7.0. A blend of loamy garden soil, compost, and coarse sand or perlite can create an ideal environment for their growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Tall Bearded Iris 'Edith Wolford' typically does not need frequent repotting; they should be divided and replanted about every three to five years to prevent overcrowding and to rejuvenate the plants.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Tall Bearded Iris 'Edith Wolford' tolerates a wide range of humidity levels but prefers a drier climate. They thrive without the need for high humidity and are well-suited to the average atmospheric conditions found in most temperate regions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in well-lit area and ensure proper drainage.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun, well-draining soil, space rhizomes apart.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of the Iris 'Edith Wolford' (Tall Bearded Iris) begins with seed germination, typically in late summer or fall, when the seeds sprout and establish a small rhizome. In its first year, the plant focuses on vegetative growth, developing the sword-like leaves and a network of roots, but will generally not flower. Over the next couple of years, the rhizome enlarges and gives rise to increases, or offsets, which will become new flowering shoots. The Tall Bearded Iris typically blooms in late spring to early summer, showcasing large, showy flowers in hues of yellow and blue. After the blooming period, the foliage remains, photosynthesizing and storing energy in the rhizome for the next season. When flowering ends, seed pods may form, which will dry and eventually open to disperse seeds, although many growers divide rhizomes for propagation instead of growing from seeds.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late Summer

    • The Tall Bearded Iris 'Edith Wolford' is commonly propagated through division, which is typically done in late summer after the blooming season has ended. To propagate by division, one would carefully lift the clump of irises from the ground using a spade, making sure to start digging about a foot (around 30 centimeters) away from the base of the plant to avoid damaging the rhizomes. The clump should then be gently shaken or washed to remove excess soil, allowing for clearer visibility of the rhizome and root structure. Using a sharp knife, the rhizome is cut into sections, each with at least one fan of leaves and a portion of healthy roots. The leaves of these divisions are often trimmed to one-third of their original length to reduce water loss, and the freshly cut rhizome is then replanted in well-draining soil, positioned so the top of the rhizome is slightly exposed to the air to prevent rot. It's essential to water the new plantings well to help establish them. This straightforward method helps maintain the health of the iris bed and encourages vigorous growth.